Author Confessions Round 22

 In Center Stage, my main male character, Roger Zellers, falls in love with Lauren Hanson, a woman ten years younger than he is. Throughout their relationship, he struggles to gain the trust of  Dr. Hanson (Lauren’s father). One of my favorite scenes is a bonding moment the two of them share, which makes them both realize that they have much more in common than they thought they did.  Knowing Dr. Hanson enjoys fishing, Roger invites him to spend the day on the lake tossing in lines. Roger starts off the morning by bringing him a cup of coffee, something Dr. Hanson dearly loves. Then, once Dr. Hanson sees and admires his sportscar, Roger hands him the keys and lets him drive. They cruise to the lake, discussing various things, at which time Roger reveals something to Dr. Hanson that he hadn’t even told Lauren.

“Lauren’s lucky she has such supportive and loving parents. Not everyone can say that,” Roger said. “My mother is very supportive of me, as is Gary, but unfortunately I never knew my biological father.”

“Really? Why is that?”

Roger proceeded to explain, “My father was Lieutenant Andrew Zellers, United States Air Force. He was a test pilot. One day during a routine test flight, the engine of his plane malfunctioned.  He was unable to recover from it and his plane went down. Killed him on impact.  My mother was six months pregnant with me at the time, so I never knew my father.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“It’s alright,” Roger claimed. “Gary’s a good man. My mother met him when I was young, and they married when I was eight years old. He’s the only father I’ve ever known.”

“It’s good to have someone like that in your life who was willing to take on being a father figure for you.”

Roger agreed. “Yes. I’m very grateful.”

When they returned to New York City, Dr. Hanson acknowledges, in his own subtle way, his newly gained trust in Roger.

Before they went their separate ways, Dr. Hanson shook Roger’s hand. “I had a great time today. Thank you, Roger.”

“Any time, Sir. Thank you for listening to the story about my father.”

“I feel honored that you shared it with me,” he replied. “Thank you also for looking after Lauren. I feel a lot safer knowing she has you here.”

All those months of working to gain Dr. Hanson’s trust finally paid off. “It’s my pleasure, Sir.”

Author Confessions Round 21

I never originally intended to publish any of my work. I simply wrote for myself as a way to express my thoughts and unwind. It took a lot of encouragement from a dear friend and several family members to finally get me to bite the bullet and publish. The only thing I hope to accomplish through this is to let my characters be heard. If I can touch a few readers along the way, that would be icing on the cake.

Author Confessions Round 20

I do occasionally ask family members or friends for input about my books, but writing is something I do alone. As a member of  a local writer’s group, we meet monthly and have many opportunities throughout the year to attend write-ins or retreats, but I don’t like writing with other people. I prefer to run solo.

Author Confessions Round 19

 Exposure. Plain and simple.

Throwing myself out there is difficult. I’m an introvert who is uncomfortable in social situations. I don’t always show it, but when I get home after being around people, I need several hours to myself to destress and unwind. As an author, you have to interact with people and make connections. This has always been a challenge for me.

Releasing my books to the general population is nerve wracking and scary. I’ve always been an overachiever and am super critical of myself. I’ll never be satisfied with my work. I ALWAYS find something wrong with it no matter how many times I read over it. My characters speak to me, and I tell their stories. But these stories won’t please every reader. In fact, I can almost guarantee there are haters out there. Some people just don’t get the way my brain works. Others will totally relate to my work and enjoy the stories I write.

I don’t write to please the masses. To me that’s not what writing is all about. I write for myself, to tell my character’s story. Hopefully, I’ll gain a few readers along the way, readers who understand the way I think and relate to these characters in my head.

Author Confessions Round 18

I have several quotes from my WIP that I like, but this one sums up Nathan’s experience with medical school pretty well. The quote is powerful and has significant meaning for Nathan because his father is the one who says it to him.

 

“People will constantly question your reliability and expertise as a physician. If you think for one second that every single patient or family member or fellow physician is going to trust your medical judgment and rely on your word, you are gravely mistaken. That is not the way medicine works. Cases are not always easy, patients are not always cooperative, and quite frankly you are not always going to know the answers. I am helping you see the cold, hard reality of what this profession encompasses. I’ll be damned if I’m going to fluff this up for you and let you take the easy way out. You are smarter and more capable than that, and I could not, on my good conscience, send you down the easy path and allow you to settle for mere mediocrity. So don’t hand me this poor Nathan crap. Grow some balls, be a damn doctor, and deal with it.”

Author Confessions Round 17

All books need characters the reader can relate to, characters who are believable, characters I either want to root for or smack in the head with the book. As I’ve said multiple times now, I’m all about character. To me, characters make or break a story. Characters in books must have unique personalities and speak in their own voice. There is nothing I hate more than picking up a book and seeing the same characters I see in every other book. Or worse yet, all the characters speak the same way or have the same mannerisms and I can’t tell one from the other. People in this world are unique. We all have our own beliefs, unique personalities, and individual likes and dislikes. Characters in books should be the same way. They should be real. They should hop off the page and speak to the reader. Even good fantasy or sci-fi characters have characteristics of people I might run into on the street. They’re relatable, believable, and each is an individual. That’s what character is all about.

Author Confessions Round 16

My least favorite character is Gabriella’s mother. She’s overly critical, unimg_2253-1-16.jpgsupportive, and speaks to her daughter with contempt. Every time Gabby’s around, she goes out of her way to say something derisive, often bringing Gabby to tears. Even though Gabriella is now an adult, her mother tries to control her life. During their graduation dinner, she causes a huge scene, which leads Nathan to finally speak his mind, something he’d been wanting to do for years.

She’s not a very nice person. Luckily, she’s only a side character, but her presence is vital to understand Gabriella’s personality and relationship with the Hansons.

Author Confessions Round 15

With this particular work in progress, I went on location to research a setting I needed for one of my chapters. My main male character grew up in upstate New York. I had never been to New York before, but since my husband and I were planning a vacation and wanted to head that direction anyway, we stopped by the town my MC grew up in so I could check it out. Luckily, my husband is from New York and was able to give me a tour of the area, which was nice. I was able to get a hands-on experience. I took a lot of notes and pictures and walked around to get the full sense of the atmosphere. When I returned home, writing that scene was easier to do because I had a feel for the small town and was able to put my personal reflections into it. If given the opportunity to take another writing ‘field trip’, I will definitely do it. The experience was well worth the time and investment.

Author Confessions Round 14

Christopher Snow from Dean Koontz’s Fear Nothing and Seize the Night. He suffers from a disease in which ultraviolet light is deadly. Therefore, he lives the life of a night owl. Christopher has a great personality. He’s kind, curious, and has cool friends, namely his dog Orson, his girlfriend Sasha, and his best friend Bobby, all of whom are surfers. Christopher is a down to earth guy who has overcome many obstacles in his life. He faces life-threatening problems throughout the series, but through it all he stands tall and remains humble. I thoroughly enjoyed the Christopher Snow books and have read them several times. I wish Dean Koontz would write another book with those characters. If he happens to be reading this (Ha ha ha, yeah, right), I hope he catches the hint.

Author Confessions Round 13

How long have I been writing?

Forever.

I don’t remember I time in my life when I wasn’t writing. As a child, I loved creating stories and making up characters. I wrote short stories, kept a journal full of song lyrics I liked, and wrote daily diary entries to reflect on my thoughts and feelings from the day.  When my family would go on vacation or day trips, I brought a journal with me and kept track of the activities we did and the cool things I saw. It was rare to see me without a pencil or some other writing utensil in my hand.

In Junior High, my love for writing branched out beyond short stories and personal reflection. I was introduced to the research paper and began a love affair with poetry. I received awards for some of the papers I wrote and explored the various elements of poetry writing.

My freshman year of high school, I had several poems published in my high school’s literary magazine. I even earned a college scholarship for a poem I wrote that was later published in a national poetry collection. During this time, I began playing around with writing full-blown fiction stories. I started off just jotting down ideas in notebooks, most of which I don’t even have anymore. By the time I graduated, I had several notebooks full of ideas and stories I had created.

I started the Scrubs series in college, as a hobby more than anything. Back then I wrote only for myself and didn’t want anyone else to read my writing, so the entire story was kept locked away from anyone else’s eyes. Over the years, I added to it, changed it, and deleted unnecessary scenes and characters. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I mustered up the nerve to let a dear friend of mine read the entire series. She, and several others, finally convinced me to publish it.

Since that time, I continue to write in other genres, occasionally write poetry, and have written guests posts on a few blogs. As a teacher, writing is a part of my life, with lesson plans, rubrics, project ideas, and teaching my students all about the writing process, hoping to inspire a few of them along the way.